The Disney and Fox merger has been a long time coming, but the deal became official earlier this week. This is a game-changing move in the industry, one that will likely shake-up both studios significantly as they look towards the future. Even with the deal just becoming official, Disney is not waiting to make some of their changes.
According to THR, the Fox 2000 Studio will officially be shut down in the coming weeks. Ran by Elizabeth Gabler, the studio released several well-received films last year such as Love, Simon and The Hate U Give, with their last release being the upcoming film Woman in the Window.
The decision is surprising because Disney had previously stated that Gabler would stay on board at the studio even after it was acquired. That announcement seemed to augur good things for Fox 2000.
Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of much of 21st Century Fox’s film and television assets essentially doubled the number of film banners Disney manages, and, insiders say, with 20th Century Fox, the main studio, and Fox Searchlight, the company’s indie label, there was not a clear lane for the Fox 2000 brand.
Disney is committed to completing the Fox 2000 films currently in production. It is unclear what this means for Gabler and her team going forward. No one in the Fox 2000 staff was laid off on Thursday but they were informed of Disney’s decision. Fox 2000 releases remain part of the Fox film library and catalogue, meaning they could appear on the streaming services that Disney is launching.
Disney had previously reported before the Fox deal was finalized, that it planned to save $2 billion in annual costs by 2021, and analysts warned that most likely this would be done through layoffs.